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Reflecting God’s Image

Ever wonder WHERE God is in your life? Does He CARE? Does He KNOW what is going on? Prayers go unanswered. People betray and hurt you. Sickness affects loved ones. People die. Does it seem like God is totally absent? I’ve been there recently.

Since I’ve been in such a funk, I’ve begun taking a day away from work and daily responsibilities; a day where I spend several hours just in quiet with God. Peace. Serenity. Calm. I head to a local park. Look out at the lake. I take along my Bible, a journal and pen, and my camera. But most importantly I take an open heart ready to not only talk to God but to just sit still and listen to Him. Where is He prompting me? Guiding Me? Challenging Me? Reminding Me?

Reflection PSP3A week ago this exercise prompted the following thoughts about being a reflection of God to others through my life. I definitely had NOT been a clear reflection of God since I had been very much wrapped up in my hurts, my worries, my fears, my misery. (Misery does not love company, it just likes to fester and grow all on its own.) As I just sat and talked with God, I felt Him telling me to look closely at the reflection of the lake. A wind had just picked up and the crisp, clear reflection was lightly disturbed by the gentle breeze.

Is this what sin, misery, despair, grief, avoiding God, busyness in my life had done? Do these things disturb my reflection of God in my life? When the storms of life blow into us, where is that peaceful, clear reflection of God? As I watched, a motor boat crossed the reflection and really disturbed the serenity of the mirror image on the shore. The wake fanned out and spread, much like self-pity does. After a while, it took over most of the reflection and it took a long time before the lake returned to the mirror-like image of the shore.Reflection PSP5

I wondered – where am I in my reflection of God? I realized I had lost the shoreline. I had let every big and little disturbance create choppy waves in my life and God wasn’t being reflected through me. I was letting my worldly cares and concerns disturb God’s peace.

I was letting my feelings and self-centered pity create a disturbance in my reflection of God.  I was listening to one of Joyce Meyer’s talks and heard God’s reminder, … don’t care how I FEEL. Remember – I am rooted in God’s love. His love makes me more than a conqueror. He loves me unconditionally. While I was still an enemy of the cross, He died for me and loved me anyway. God will never love me any more than He does right now at this moment.

I am not saying feelings are wrong, but I sure wasn’t remembering the core of my faith from John 3:16-17:

For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.

God loved me so much – He let His Son die for me to have eternal life. Why am I stuck in self-pity and blaming God for ignoring my life?

My faith had been in a deep battle with the devil, and I had begun to believe his lies instead of resting in God’s truth –

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.   ~Hebrews 11;1

I need to continue to be fully in God’s word and presence. I need to be still and listen for His leading and guiding in my life so that I can be a true reflection of His love in my life and to those around me. I need to put on the armor of God so I can stand against Satan’s lies.

I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 15:12 where it says one day we will see everything clearly. In this world, “with devils filled that threatens to undo us,” we can’t fear if we are filled with God’s love, grace and truths. We won’t always understand or “FEEL” that God cares. That’ won’t happen until I am perfectly remade with God. But I do KNOW God knows and loves me always and unconditionally. Praise God!

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Stay in God’s Word. Spend time not only talking to God, but taking the time to listen to what He has to say to you. Look for ways God is showing Himself to you – a call from a granddaughter, a monarch or hummingbird being provided for by God’s creation, a sunset, a song …

Praying God will fill your hearts so deeply that all you can do is be a mirror-image of His likeness ~ Faye

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A New Perspective on Prayer

What a blessing we have to pour out our hearts to God. We can go to Him with our praises for answered prayers and how He provides. We are often quick to go to Him with our requests, particularly in times of trouble. In a group setting, we listen to prayer requests and praises, and then we lift them up to God. Sometimes those prayer requests are easy to do and remember even outside of the group setting.

When we get together in a group or are on our own with the LORD, it’s relatively easy to ask for prayer for our physical needs – a job, health issues, raising children, traveling safety, marriages, etc. Sometimes, when we know the people well and there is a healthy measure of trust, we can ask for emotional support as well. But rarely do we reach out and ask someone to pray for our spiritual health. I know in my life, I’ve not even prayed this on a personal level often.

Paul is so grateful (sitting in prison) for his fellow brothers and sisters. He brings them before God in thanksgiving and in prayer for their spiritual welfare. He prays for their understanding of the immeasurable richness of God’s love. Every time he thinks of them he prays that they will be filled with a confidence in what they hope for and an assurance of what they cannot see (Hebrews 11:1).

Ever since I heard of your STRONG FAITH in the LORD Jesus and your LOVE for God’s people everywhere, I have NOT STOPPED THANKING GOD FOR YOU. I PRAY FOR YOU CONSTANTLY, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, TO GIVE YOU SPIRITUAL WISDOM AND INSIGHT so that you MIGHT GROW IN YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.  I pray that your HEARTS WILL BE FLOODED WITH LIGHT so that you can UNDERSTAND THE CONFIDENT HOPE He has given to those He called – HIS HOLY PEOPLE WHO ARE HIS RICH AND GLORIOUS INHERITANCE. I also pray that you will UNDERSTAND THE INCREDIBLE GREATNESS OF GOD’S POWER for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now He is FAR ABOVE any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else – not only in this world but also in the world to come.         Ephesians 1:15-21

I finished my reading on these verses challenged to 1) give God continual thanks for the abundance of friendships He has placed in my life through friends and family; and 2) lift up in prayer those God has placed in my life that they may be filled to overflowing with the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of how awesome our God is, and that they may grow in their understanding of His love and grace.

Praying that you may be filled with blessing of confident hope in God ~ Faye

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